Craig Littles Campaign Platforms
Craig Littles believes Memphis can win through five key platforms:
Safe Neighborhoods – preventing crime, building trust and promoting peace.
Youth Programs – supporting young people’s social, emotional and professional growth.
Clean Streets - beating urban blight and attracting new development.
Nonprofit Organizations – enhancing collaboration between city and community.
Economic Investment – advancing both business and employee success.
Problem: Memphis' homicide rate has increased 48% this year over last year, and homicide rates are approaching the rates we witnessed in 2016 — the highest rates since 1993. MPD says of the cases they've solved this year, 78% of victims knew the suspect.
Solution: As a law enforcement officer of 28 years, Craig Littles understands that incarceration only addresses the consequences of crime, but not the causes. As City Councilman, he will advance prevention and intervention strategies that cut crime and incarceration – such as early childhood education, juvenile justice reform, workforce development, and mental health/substance abuse treatment.
Problem: Juvenile delinquency is a proven precursor to violent crime. In 2018, 5,300 children in Memphis were brought to Juvenile Court on delinquency complaints. Of that number, 926 children were detained in Juvenile Court’s detention center — where 23 were charged with murder, 50 were charged with aggravated robbery, 10 were charged with carjacking, etc. Many of them will be tried as adults.
Solution: Youth are most likely to commit and be the victims of crimes during the hours immediately after the school day ends. As the Chief Visionary Officer and Executive Director of Memphis Shelby PAL, Craig Littles has already implemented effective programs that replace juvenile delinquency with positive activities. He will work with City Council to support after-school and out-of-school programs that promote youth leadership, teamwork and employment – while reducing the strain on law enforcement.
Problem: Memphis’ Blight Elimination Charter has helped reduce blight since being passed in 2015. But today, there are still about 10,000 vacant residential properties and 20,000 to 30,000 vacant lots spread across the city — 2,500 of which are in poor to severe condition. Vacant and abandoned properties are not just an eyesore, they are also a cesspool for drug activity, break-ins and sexual assaults.
Solution: Craig Littles knows what the research shows — that cleaning up blighted properties can reduce crime rates. And while many community groups have joined the fight against blight, they can increase their impact with additional resources — such our down payment assistance program, HUD block grants, and the Strategic Code Enforcement Academy. As City Councilman, Craig will maximize city initiatives that empower local residents to work together and fix up their neighborhood.
Problem: Nonprofit organizations play a critical role in extending the impact of local government. This year, about $2.6 million has been set aside in the form of grants that will be awarded to non-profits and commissions. But as the challenges of our community evolve, more nonprofits are competing for government resources — placing additional strain on organizations that are already spread thin. As a result, many nonprofits struggle to deliver crucial services to communities.
Solution: Craig Littles has launched three nonprofits, and recognizes the role of nonprofits in improving public life. As City Councilman, he will make nonprofit organizations a priority — and allocate funds to the organizations that demonstrate the biggest impact.
Problem: Memphis is experiencing unparalleled economic growth, with a $10 billion expansion at St. Jude Hospital, a new convention center and at least 17 new hotels. But as business has grown, wages have stagnated — keeping Memphis one of the poorest cities in America. Tennessee has the second highest percentage in the country of workers earning $7.25 an hour or less. And from 2011 to 2017, the number of workers making less than $11 an hour in Memphis grew from 107,000 to 111,000 workers.
Solution: When Memphis workers make less money, they spend less on restaurants, retail, entertainment and housing. Craig Littles understands that a moderate increase to the minimum wage can have a big impact on our poverty rate — and supports incentives for both big and small businesses that practice good corporate citizenship. As City Councilman, he will work for higher wages that not only improve outcomes for businesses — but also increase spending power for employees.